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Board Of Trustees Committee Recommends Raising Tuition Across The Board

All good things must come to an end, right?

The Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business, and Capital Planning met Thursday morning and recommended raising tuition for in-state students at Penn State for the first time in about four years. The motion will be weighed and potentially implemented by the full board Thursday afternoon.

Under the proposed plan, in-state undergraduate students at University Park will see about a 2.5% increase in their tuition for the 2021-22 academic year. Out-of-state students would receive an approximate 2.75% increase across the board.

Both in-state and out-of-state graduate students would receive approximately 2.75% tuition increases under the proposed plan.

Adjusted for inflation, the proposed tuition remains lower than it was a decade ago, according to the university.

University Park’s student-initiated fee will remain at $265 for full-time students.

A full breakdown of the proposed tuition schedule is available below. The increases are broken down by some majors, years, and colleges, so make sure you’re reading the right line.

It’s important to note that proposed tuition rates won’t change if classes are delivered online this fall or spring, just like last year.

Although it’s already one of the most expensive state-related universities, Penn State’s proposed increase would place it in the middle of the pack among universities that have already announced tuition hikes. Its average collective 2.625% hike for undergraduate and graduate students would land above Michigan State (1.95%), Minnesota (1.5%), and Michigan (1.4%), among others. Schools like the University of Virginia, Nebraska, and Illinois won’t raise tuition this academic year.

In Pennsylvania, Pitt raised its lowest base tuition rate by 2.5% this week. On the other side of the state, Temple also raised its tuition by about 2.5%. Still, Penn State remains the second-most expensive Big Ten school for in-state students behind Northwestern, which is a private university.

In its proposed $7.7 billion budget, the committee wrote that the ongoing COVID-19 was expected to impact Penn State’s university-wide budget and tuition.

“Our efforts to keep a Penn State education accessible and affordable have placed us among the top tier of public flagship universities for the smallest overall increase in in-state tuition over the last decade,” Penn State President Eric Barron said in a statement. “We always strive to support our students first by keeping tuition increases low or flat, and this year’s modest rise, though necessary to keep up with inflation and the University’s own rising costs, was held to the lowest percentage possible while still allowing us to deliver the world-class academic and student experiences that make Penn State so special.”

Penn State’s proposed state appropriations from Harrisburg will remain flat this year, as approved by Governor Tom Wolf in June. The appropriations are typically used to counter tuition increases and attempt to keep them flat.

Back in April, the Board of Trustees approved a 3.45% increase to room and board rates for the 2021-22 academic year. The changes will work out to a $203 increase per student per semester for those paying for a standard double room and mid-level meal plan.

The full Board of Trustees will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in University Park. Check back later for more details on the proposed tuition raise.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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